Düsseldorf, Germany. Sunday evening ended the second edition of the German Beach Trophy. The fairly young, yet by now already established organisers from New Beach Order have managed to create another 3-week secure bubble, where 8 teams per gender could compete in a mini beach volleyball league concluded with a playoff system uniqueto beach volleyball, a “best of 3” matches series. In the first edition that was played in January and February the Austrian Strauss sisters were crowned winners, this time it was two Slovenian players in Tjaša Kotnik and Nejc Zemljak that represented MEVZA on the podium with a 3rd and 2nd place finish.
On the womes’s side Tjaša Kotnik from Slovenia competed in the first week alongside Melanie Gernert, who holds the record for most medals on the German Beach Tour. Only in the second week she teamed up with her playoffs partner the younger German prospect Leonie Klinke. Entering the playoffs in 5th place, they met the Swiss duo Caluori/Lutz. The Slovenian/German duo could decide both close matches in their favour and it was Kotnik previous partner Gernert with Krohn, who also ended up winning the competition to stop their playoff run in the semifinal.
In the men’s event Nejc Zemljak entered only in the second week to replace the Austrian U22 star Laurenz Leitner on the side of Julian Hoerl. The solid week with Hoerl gave Zemljak enough points to enter the playoffs with the German U22 youngster Rudy Schneider. The points put the two teams on position 4 and 5 in the rankings, meaning, they met in the quarterfinals. Two entertaining and high quality matches later, the Slovenian/German duo was able to persevere. After beating the German national team Pfretzschner/Sowa in the semi, their run was stopped by another German top duo Walkenhorst/Winter with a final score of 2-1 in wins.
Other MEVZA Teams
Also on start in Dusseldorf were a couple of Austrians teams in each category. Both women teams Schützenhöfer/Plesiutschnig and Strauss/Strauss played only one week and did therefore not enter the playoffs.
Both teams on the men’s side Trummer/Friedl & Hörl/Leitner lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs and herewith finished with a strong 5th place for the second time already at the German Beach Trophy.
German Beach Trophy Format
The two weeks of so called “regular season” gave the players and teams the opportunity to face every opponent twice and collect points. For each win a team collects 2 points or better said each player 1 point. Six best teams (which can also be composed of two new players) than qualify for the playoffs, which also have a couple of little twists.
First and second ranked teams after the regular part are directly in the semifinals, while the 3rd to 6th seeded teams go into quarterfinals. Every Playoff matchup is played as a “best of 3” series of matches. Meaning that in order to advance a team must collect 2 wins against the same opponent.
Unlike most playoff brackets that are fixed, the German Beach Trophy copies the NFL system, which makes the highest seed always play the lowest possible seed. In this example meaning that should the 6th ranked team win against the 3rd in the quarterfinal matchup, then in the semifinals seed 1 goes against the 6th. Traditional brackets have the winner of a matchup advance to a fixed (f.ex.: if the winner of #3 vs. #6. plays #2, regardless who wins).